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What is the flavor difference between grape and cherry tomatoes? The store had both and they looked rather similar.

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3 Answers

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The difference in their name is - not surprisingly - because of their form. Cherry tomatoes are round, while grape tomatoes are more oblong. Wikipedia mentions that grape tomatoes are 'sweet as cherry tomatoes', so not much difference in flavour according to this. Perhaps grape tomatoes are more similar to small plum tomatoes.

This site claims grape tomatoes to be sweeter, having a thicker skin and a lower water content than cherry tomatoes. Interestingly, it also says that grape tomatoes are a cross between cherry tomatoes and other tomatoes.

The claims of the second site are in agreement with this site ("grape tomatoes have thicker skin, lower water content and intense sweetness"). It also states "a grape tomato is half the size of a cherry tomato", so perhaps they are smaller. Due to the lower water content, grape tomatoes have less chance of 'squirting' when being bit in.

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I find grape tomatoes are the better choice as in general they have more tomato flavor, the cherry tomatoes are good if you want to stuff them with salad for a small bite. –  Manako Jan 23 '12 at 17:04
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Grape and cherry refer to the shape more than anything else. With so many different varieties you can get different characteristics from one type of cherry to another. Also how ripe they are will cause huge differences as well. As a general rule though...grape tomoatoes are the Roma's compared to the cherry's being the field type. Roma being slightly more fleshy and less pulp is what I'm getting at. –  Chef Flambe Jan 24 '12 at 7:24
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If there is a difference, I think it's smaller than all of the normal variations in supermarket tomatoes. Buying either kind, I've gotten plump/juicy ones, drier/mealy ones, sweet ones, bland ones. I think this is mostly attributable to the wide variation in quality of storebought tomatoes, notably seasonal variation and how unripe they were when picked. Some may actually be different types of tomatoes, too: I know there are a few reasonably widespread cultivars sold as cherry tomatoes.

I think the primary reason for the "grape" name is just the shape; cherries are more spherical and grapes are oblong. Both grape and cherry tomatoes should usually be sweeter than larger tomatoes.

If you're a gardener or are lucky enough to know someone who can supply you, I think you'll find much more variety in flavor among all the types of little tomatoes that people grow at home. I've had some that were so sweet I felt like I was eating delicious tomato candy off a vine, and I've had others with a full tomato flavor but not so much sweetness. Unfortunately I don't know names of varieties here, but I'm sure if you sought out that sort of thing, you could discover the ones you like most!

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Renaming was inevitable once 'cherry' size became golfballs...

Round or oblong 'grape' tomato? I tried a nice golden egg-shaped wee one; more a texture difference than flavor: crispy juicy rather than mealy squishy.

Blessedly more variety these days in tomatoes. How about pulling aside your supermarket green-grocer and asking for a sample? Not possible with prepackaged punnets but why shop where you can't touch and smell, hmmm?

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I'm not sure how useful this is; I still see cherry-sized cherry tomtoes, and I've had mealy and juicy tomatoes of both names. –  Jefromi Jan 21 '12 at 6:09
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-1 for the totally irrelevant and condescending 3rd paragraph. –  Aaronut Jan 21 '12 at 15:47
    
sorry to have offended. poster mentioned they looked similar but hadn't tasted... never had a grocer turn me down for tasting while most of us are not bold enough to ask. –  Pat Sommer Jan 22 '12 at 7:39
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